Joint secretaries and additional secretaries in various government ministries will soon have an additional task —- get ready and sign the responses of the Centre in the Supreme Court. Chief Justice of India J S Khehar Tuesday took umbrage at the fact that “poor” under-secretaries were submitting responses in the top court. “What would a poor under-secretary tell us? Responses before the Supreme Court should be filed by officers not below the ranks of joint secretary or additional secretary who should be capable of taking responsibility for what they say in their affidavits,” said the CJI. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was representing the government in the matter, said that suitable instructions would have to go to each ministry from the Law Ministry. “This court can take it from me that it would be done,” added Mehta.
Even as the government has pulled out all stops to promote cashless transactions, National Commission for Women member Alok Rawat got a taste of what it is to be a victim of internet banking fraud. On Tuesday, Rawat got a call from a woman claiming to represent Visa. Quoting the number of his card, that was closed three years ago, the woman told Rawat that he had made some excess payment and was eligible for a refund. Rawat acceded to the caller’s request and gave the details of his current debit and credit card — including card number, CVV and one-time passwords for three transactions. It was only on the fourth attempt, when the caller claimed to be facing a glitch in transferring the money, did Rawat suspect something was amiss. He immediately called up his bank to find that he had been robbed of Rs 20,000. After reporting the case to the police, Rawat is now trying to find solace in the fact that the fraudsters only managed to misuse his debit card and not his credit card.
Leading The Charge
The Congress will hold a national convention in the national capital — the biggest mobilisation of leaders and cadres till date to highlight the “ill-effects” of the demonetisation decision. But it will be Rahul Gandhi and not Sonia Gandhi who will preside over the meeting. With party leaders from the district to national levels expected at Talkatora Stadium, all eyes are on whether there would be any demand for Rahul’s elevation as Congress president. Sonia had skipped a meeting of the Congress Working Committee in November, when party veterans asked Rahul to take over as Congress president. With Sonia out of action, Rahul had since then chaired a meeting of the parliamentary party and presided over the party’s foundation day celebrations for the first time.
Apparently behind UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in the numbers game, the Mulayam camp is looking for an honourable settlement and has chosen to focus its attack on SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav. It is learnt that Mulayam is clear that Ram Gopal should have no role in ticket distribution. Sources in the Mulayam camp say that despite meetings between father and son, and pressure on Mulayam from party veterans, a “patch-up” may happen only if Akhilesh agrees to push Ram Gopal into the background, which sounds like a difficult proposition for the time being.